Grandfather receives award for rescue

Rescuer holds certificate

David Mitchell, a 64-year-old grandfather from Buntingford, was recently awarded the prestigious Life Saving Medal of the Order of St John in Bronze at the Priory Church, Clerkenwell, London.

Quick to react

The award was in recognition of Mr Mitchell’s quick thinking last July when he rescued a man whose car had stopped precariously at the edge of a Cambridgeshire river after crashing through a brick wall.

The first-aider, who joined St John Ambulance in 1966, was visiting Houghton Mill in Cambridgeshire when he heard a car crash.  He ran to assist the driver, crawled into the car to reach the unconscious patient and then shouted for help.

He said: ‘Instantly, I realised that the man’s life was in danger as the water was rising and I knew there was a real risk of the car flipping and potentially taking us both under.’ 

Selfless actions 

David’s quick thinking and calm assistance on the day undoubtedly made a significant difference to the casualty’s outcome.

Sandra Stocker
Head of Priory Affairs, St John

Mr Mitchell checked the driver’s responses and airways and with the help of bystanders placed the victim on the river bank and examined him for injuries.  The man quickly regained consciousness suffering only a few cuts and a nose bleed. 

‘In training we are always told not to put our own lives in danger, but with goose bumps and shaking hands there was no way I was going to leave the man in the car to drown.’

Organisers of the medal, who make similar presentations up to three times per year, say they were impressed by Mr Mitchell’s calm and effective actions and are keen to acknowledge him with such a notable award.

‘David’s quick thinking and calm assistance on the day undoubtedly made a significant difference to the casualty’s outcome,’ said Sandra Stocker, Head of Priory Affairs for St John.